Beaches in the North West

The best beaches in the North West

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The North West is home to some of the greatest cities in the UK. Hubs of cosmopolitan culture and enterprise, they’re also just a stone’s throw away from the coast. Beaches bring a breather to the non-stop vibe associated with urban life in this area.

Extending from the Welsh to Scottish borders, this area is England’s third-most populated, yet it also home to many untouched areas of natural beauty. Within an hour’s drive, city dwellers can escape to serenity on some of the most unspoilt coastline the UK has to offer. Rocky coves, bountiful sand dunes and vast areas of expansive sand marry perfectly with the fresh sea breeze, providing the ideal space for visitors to relax and rejuvenate. We’ve put together a list of the best beaches in the North West to help guide you to a seaside staycation that will live long in the memory. 

Blackpool Beach

Blackpool Beach

It would be disrespectful to not start with Blackpool! It’s the place many, many people think of first when they hear about a holiday at home in the UK. Beyond the amusements, the lights and the trams (who can forget the trams?!), the beach has been given the TLC needed to make it not only one of the North West’s best, but the UK’s too.

A tourism attraction for hundreds of years, the beach has all the ingredients needed for a day out at the seaside. A large expanse of flat sand becomes vast when the tide goes out. There are deckchairs and donkey rides, and when you’re done enjoying yourself on the dunes, you’ll be just steps from all the amenities you need to refresh and indulge.

Formby Beach

Formby Beach

Nestled between the large town of Southport and bustling Liverpool, it’s impressive the way that Formby retains its relaxed and rural feel. The beach has an expansive feel, with loads and loads of space for couples and families to explore. Whether you want to sit down and relax, or work up a sweat on a walk, the sand is equally accommodating. 

Just beyond the dunes, there is a unique chance to spot a dying breed in the UK – the Red Squirrel. A sweeping coastal woodland nature reserve plays home to these fascinating creatures, adding to the wild feel of the place. With this section of coast owned by the National Trust, this atmosphere should be retained for decades to come, cementing Formby's place as one of the best beaches in the North West. 



Cleveleys Beach

Cleveleys Beach

Sitting between Blackpool and Fleetwood, Cleveleys encompasses everything great about the British seaside in a smaller and easier to navigate package than its more famous siblings. Another vast expanse of sand, the beach is backed by the imposing seafront promenade, built as a flood defence to protect the town from high tide. 

You’ll straight away spot the unique artwork that sits on the beach, beautifully tying in with the Irish Sea horizon. These sculptures tie in with the town’s very own fairy tale, The Sea Swallow, with each sculpture portraying a theme covered in the famous children’s book. Kids and adults alike will love the exhibition of art sitting on the sand. 

Ainsdale Beach

Ainsdale Beach

The only beach in the North West of England to be awarded a Blue Flag, Ainsdale simply had to be on the list of the region’s best beaches. The beach also holds a Quality Coast Award for an impressive range of facilities and the cleanest of water. Between Southport and Formby, this stretch is just as long and wide as its siblings. 

This section of the Sefton coast contains one of the largest areas of natural dune land left in Britain, tying in with the North West’s feel as one of the last bastions untouched seaside space left in the UK. Ainsdale’s sand attracts colossal kite fliers, with zones set aside for kit buggies, and kitesurfing is a popular pastime out at sea in the area too. 

West Kirby Beach

West Kirby Beach

West Kirby is a fantastic foray to the seaside after a day spent in Liverpool. On the wonderful Wirral peninsula, the beach offers incredible views out to the Irish Sea with the foothills of North Wales in the distance. You’ll also see the curious Hilbre Island archipelago in the distance, accessible for around seven in every 12 hours via low tide.  

The beach itself is relatively compact at just 300 metres long but vastly expands when the tide goes out. The West Kirby Marine Lake is the beach’s neighbour, giving a home to all kinds of water sports. Ultimately, if you’re looking for a beach in quaint surroundings, West Kirby is the place to be. Parking is accessible, and dogs are allowed all year round.



Silverdale Beach

Silverdale Beach

Silverdale Beach lies just short of Lancashire’s border with Cumbria in an immense Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There are endless amounts of sand here as the tide recedes, opening up rock pools brimming with wildlife. It won’t take long for you to come across a crab or two in their natural habitat. 

Known for its particularly fast-moving tide, a walk across Silverdale is best explored from the rocks. These offer an amazing vantage point of the wider area, along with the shifting waves of the Irish Sea. When you’re done by the beach, head to the village for refreshment. The local cakes come highly recommended. Silverdale combines views and vibes that win it a place on the list of best beaches in the North West.